One of the 3 students killed in North Carolina made a heartbreaking recording just a few months ago.

On Feb. 10, 2015, three young people were senselessly shot to death in their hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


One of the victims was Yusor Abu-Salha, a 21-year-old recent graduate of N.C. State University.


Yusor had married her high school sweetheart, Deah Barakat, just two months earlier. She had moved to Chapel Hill to live with him while he attended dental school.

He was also killed in the shooting.

Yusor and Deah had known each other since elementary school, where they had the same third-grade teacher. That teacher was Sister Mussarut Jabeen.

A few months before the tragedy, Yusor and Sister Jabeen visited StoryCorps, a nonprofit organization that records ordinary Americans interviewing each other about their lives.

It would be one of the last times her voice was ever recorded.

The first part is the interview Yusor and Sister Jabeen gave in early 2014. In it, Yusor talks about how grateful she was to have been raised in the United States.

"Growing up in America has been such a blessing. And although in some ways I do stand out, such as, you know, the hijab, the head covering, there's still so many ways I feel so embedded that is the fabric that is our culture. Here we're all one." — Yusor Abu-Salha

She also recalls a fond memory from Sister Jabeen's class.

"I still remember in 3rd grade when we'd ask for something, you used to say, 'Don't put your hand like this.' You'd have your hand facing downwards as if you're taking something from someone. And then you'd flip your hand over and you'd open your hand up as a giving gesture ... Be giving. Open. Compassionate." — Yusor Abu-Salha

Sister Jabeen had wonderful memories of Yusor too, and she was delighted that she had married Deah, one of her other students.

"I just remember Deah, when he was growing up, he was getting taller, and because I'm a short person, he would stand behind me and put his hand over my head. And I just told him, 'Deah, you can never outgrow my heart.'" — Mussarut Jabeen

Sister Jabeen came back to StoryCorps just days after Yusor was killed to record the very end of the piece. In it, she gives a lovely, bittersweet tribute to her former student.

"I would like people to know her and remember her as a practicing Muslim, as a daughter, and above all, as a good human being. When we write our comments on report cards, we say they 'exceeded our expectations.' She exceeded our expectations." — Mussarut Jabeen

Rest in peace.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.